Musanze — It is called the oldest profession in the world, but for the street workers of Musanze, its never too late to change.
Denouncing their trade after a four-day training on alternative employment, prostitutes in the tourist city have said the risks are simply too great to continue in the industry.
“We have been living a bad life with a lot of risks,” Uwimana Jeanette, a street worker, says.
“Being hunted by the police; rejected by our own families and life with no hope. But today we have decided to stop it and change completely.”
In a dramatic piece of theatre called The Villager, former prostitutes show the kind of life they live and how they have been recruiting young girls from the rural areas to be traded for sex.
The training, organised by Ihorere Munyarwanda and supported by UNICEF, has helped many realise the dangers of prostitution to their lives and to society.
Speaking on behalf of the national coordinator of the association, Aimable Mwananawe warned the group against turning back.
“It is out of your willingness that you have made the decision, we there fore ask you to find an alternative way to support yourselves other than prostitution’’ Aimable said.
To the prostitutes, the closing function looked overwhelming as they rubbed shoulders with district officials asking them for their support especially on how they can get jobs.
The vice-mayor in charge of social affairs Pascal Batunge thanked all for the decision they had made and promised to work with the health centres and have them tested for HIV/ Aids in order to realise their status and find a better way of living.
The majority of the group below the age of 20 were asked to go back to school, whereas many were carrying babies, they showed willingness to change their lives and not to turn back.